Sports and Recreation

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03-hy1c8284_sports_&_outdoors.jpg
03-hy1c8284_sports_&_outdoors.jpg

The birthplace of the Olympic Games has a tradition of athletics. The great outdoors is what recreational sporting in Athens is all about - yachting, sailing, windsurfing, beach volleyball, trekking and skiing. Who can forget the cyclists whizzing past the Acropolis and Lycabettus Hill, the breathless marathon runners crossing the finishing line at Panathenaic Stadium or the windsurfers, sailors and rowers finessing the blue, Mediterranean seas during the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games?

Of course, the gorgeous summer weather is ideal for sea and sun sport enthusiasts with crystal clear waters just minutes away from the center of Athens. But the fall and winter also have their sporting charms such as trekking and hiking on mountain trails, horseback riding, mountain biking and skiing.

Regimented health buffs are also accommodated by the many state-of-the art fitness centers at many leading hotels and throughout Athens in Kolonaki and around Syntagma Square.

But with such a spectacular environment in which to enjoy recreational sports, why stay inside? Here are just a few suggestions of how to experience Athens the natural and healthy way.